London’s Guards Are Falling Down! The Queen’s Officers Faint During Trooping the Colour Ceremony

It’s one of the most spectacular royal events of the year — though for a few unlucky bear-fur garbed guards, collapsing under the weight of the occasion appears to be inevitable.

On Saturday, England’s royal family turned out in full force for the annual Trooping the Colour, the grand military parade and national statement of pageantry to honor Queen Elizabeth’s birthday.

The centerpiece of London’s highbrow season of festivities, the celebration takes place in June in hopes of favorable weather despite the fact that her Her Majesty’s actual birth date is April 21.

With more than 1,600 officers, 400 musicians and 200 horses in tow, the Queen and members of the royal family are paraded in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade across St. James’s Park. After inspecting her troops, receiving a royal salute and taking a salute of her own, the Queen then joins the royal family – including Prince William, Princess Kate, Prince Harry, and of course, Princess Charlotte and Prince George — on the Palace balcony, where they pose for photos and wave at the crowd.

Unfortunately, that favorable weather often proves to be detrimental for palace guards. Inevitably, despite hundreds of hours of training and rehearsals and the support of colleagues around on parade, there is always at least one who finds himself overcome.

This year, at least five guards reportedly appeared to faint — lying face face down in the pink gravel of Horse Guards Parade as temperatures hit 80 degrees.

At least one of the men who fainted was lifted and carried out on a stretcher.

An Army spokeswoman told The Daily Express all the soldiers were treated with medical care and are okay.

“We can confirm that during the Queen’s birthday parade today a small number of soldiers fainted,” the spokeswoman said. “It is an extremely hot day and all were removed from the Parade and checked by medical staff where they were hydrated.”

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Ahead of Saturday’s event, the Queen released a statement about the day — reflecting on the recent tragedies in England, including the Manchester suicide bombing and the deadly Grenfell Tower fire.

“Today is traditionally a day of celebration,” she wrote in the letter, signed Elizabeth R. “This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.”

“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events,” the Queen continued. “During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.”

“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity,” she concluded. “United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/royals/queens-guard-faints-at-trooping-the-colour-2017/

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